If you're OK with Surveillance Because
You Have Nothing To Hide Think Again
The possibilities of Big Data
will leave George Orwell in the dust.
BIG DATA IS IMMORAL
One terabyte of data is equal to the contents of about one million books.
Reforming Big Data
RT #Edchat #Edtech #Education - Big Data Is Immoral: Rogue Algorithms' and the Dark Side of Big Data http://ow.ly/pUbA304vzkZ
In her conclusion, O’Neil argues we need to “disarm” the Weapons of Math Destruction, and that the first step for doing so is to conduct “algorithmic audits” to unpack the black boxes of these mathematical models. They are, again, opaque and impenetrable by design, and often protected as proprietary intellectual property. Toward this end, Princeton University has launched WebTAP, the Web Transparency and Accountability Project. Carnegie Mellon and MIT are home to similar initiatives. In the end, O’Neil writes, we must realize that the mathematical models which have penetrated almost every aspect of our lives “are constructed not just from data but from the choices we make about which data to pay attention to… These choices are not just about logistics, profits, and efficiency. They are fundamentally moral.”
Palantir palantir.com the war on Terror's Secret Weapon. A billion dollar CIA-backed start-up that's taking over Palo Alto. Four out of the five people on the Palantir management team worked at PayPal. Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel was also a PayPal co-founder. As of 2013, Palantir was used by at least 12 groups within the US Government including the CIA, DHS, NSA, FBI, the CDC, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, Special Operations Command, West Point, the Joint IED-defeat organization and Allies, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “The first time I saw it, I was like, ‘Holy crap. Holy crap. Holy crap.’ ” Leaked Palantir Doc Reveals Uses, Specific Functions And Key Clients. Palantir has created a data mining system used extensively by law enforcement agencies and security companies to connect the dots between known criminals. Palantir’s data analysis solution targets three industries: government, the finance sector and legal research. Each of these industries must wrestle with massive sets of data. To do this, Palantir’s toolsets are aimed at massive data caches, allowing litigators and the police to make connections otherwise invisible. Palantir’s software sits on top of existing data sets and provides users with what seems like a revolutionary interface. Users do not have to use SQL queries or employ engineers to write strings in order to search petabytes of data. Instead, natural language is used to query data and results are returned in real-time. The service is a smarter way of displaying data for analysis by humans. It is capable of building comprehensive models of activity to detect suspicious anomalies and is even able to provide immunity to fraud thanks to strategies the founders learned while still at PayPal.
Palantir Technologies, a highly secretive software developer whose name is derived from a magical crystal ball in J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel, has been gobbling up real estate in the upscale home of Stanford University, and — according to critics — uprooting a vibrant start-up ecosystem in the process.
How your data is collected and commoditised via “free” online services AND Here’s why you can’t trust SSL logos on HTTP pages (even from SSL vendors) and then Exploring the Ecosystem of Third-party Security Seals
How Dropbox moved 90% of its files from Amazon's S3 to data centers designed by its own engineers over two-and-a-half years wired.com/2016/03
Not Even the People Who Write Algorithms Really Know How They Work The web's information filters are making assumptions about you based on details that you might not even notice yourself.
9/15 Welcome to hell: Apple vs Google vs Facebook and the slow death of the web There is already a little cottage industry of ad blockers available, and you should definitely try one or two — they will radically improve your mobile web experience, because they will... block huge chunks of the web from loading. WHAT WE'RE REALLY TALKING ABOUT IS MONEY AND POWER IN SILICON VALLEY Those huge chunks — the ads! — are almost certainly the part you don't want. What you want is the content. The biggest provider of ads on the web is Google. In particular, Google runs an ad server called DoubleClick for Publishers, or DFP. DFP is huge, and it serves ads for basically every major publisher: Vox Media and The Verge use DFP. BuzzFeed uses DFP. ESPN uses DFP. If you are seeing advertising on the web, there is a real chance it's being served to you by DFP. in addition to DFP, Google runs the web's largest ad exchange, AdX. DFP lets publishers serve their own ads, while AdX is responsible for those programmatic ads that follow you around the web. Those are the three biggest categories of web advertising revenue — premium display, native, and programmatic — and Google has a huge stake in all of them. In fact, there's no other company that's managed to monetize the web quite like Google has through the power of DFP and AdX. But what's happening now is that attention is shifting fast from desktop browsers — where Google's Chrome is dominant (and supports ad blocking!) — to mobile browsers. In particular, to Apple's Mobile Safari, which dominates usage statistics on mobile. There is no alternative web rendering engine on the iPhone; there's just WebKit, which Apple controls. The dominance of the iPhone and Mobile Safari give Apple "veto power" over the web, as John Gruber put it — a veto power which means Google's revenue platform is increasingly under the control of a major rival. And with iOS 9 and content blockers, what you're seeing is Apple's attempt to fully drive the knife into Google's revenue platform.
The problem is not just the advertisements. Behind the advertisements are tracking systems and auction networks, that depend on building extensive profiles of users. Without these profiles, ads are much less efficient, and advertisement revenues much lowers. But the profiles are built with trackers that try monitor everything you read or do on the web, at what time and from what location. There is a cost in terms of bandwidth, resource, and page load times. But there is also a huge issue of privacy. Who needs the NSA when we already have this very efficient monitoring?
Over the past couple of decades, advertisers/marketers have attacked Internet users via:
pop-ups/pop-unders | autoplaying media
| malware distribution
| web bugs
| email marketing companies, aka spammers-for-hire
| "supercookies" and the like
| user tracking
| adware/spyware and more.
Had the advertising/marketing industry behaved like responsible adults rather than like rapaciously greedy sociopaths then perhaps we would not have arrived at the current situation. But as things stand today, advertisers/marketers have positioned themselves, deliberately, as the mortal enemies of Internet security and privacy. They should not be surprised that we're fighting against their abuse and attacks using all the means at our disposal.
The problem that we're facing is that the mobile carriers, in large part and with few exceptions, all limit their bandwidth per device to a pittance. So when it comes to the mobile experience, every last byte downloaded comes with an opportunity cost. Any ad not downloaded contributes to more consumable content for the mobile user -- who is paying for that very bandwidth. The case against adblockers makes all the sense in the world if you assume that the user has unlimited bandwidth. With wired connections, that's essentially a good assumption, even though some wired providers (notably Comcast) are capping the available capacity and charging extra when that capacity is exceeded.
So we're left with the content providers wanting to be paid pennies in return for the users being charged dollars for going over their allocations. In such a world, it should be obvious that the users' desires should take precedence. After all, the advertisers aren't paying the bills of the mobile consumers. I don't blame Apple one bit for adding an ad-blocker. It's what their customers want. Ultimately, the solution for this is likely the advertisers negotiating with mobile carriers -- possibly to exclude the bandwidth from ads from users' mobile bandwidth allocations. It is one conceivable way for an advertising model to survive in a mobile world.
Business of Healthcare
Patients Who Pay “Cash” When Filling Prescriptions Are Now Called “Outliers, Pharmacists Required to Fix Outliers as They Show Up As Non Medication Adherence Compliant With 5 Star Systems Full of Flawed Data The metrics that are being used today are over the top and there’s a lot of money being made “scoring” and selling those scores to anyone who has the money and wants the data.
Medication Adherence Predictions Enter the World of Quantitated Justifications For Things That Are Just Not True, Members of the Proprietary “Code Hosing” Clubs Out There Destroying Your Privacy
Focus in on the infographic here provided and marketed by Express Scripts and look at what constitutes a bad nick with medication adherence.
CVS to Share More Medication Adherence Love With New Contracts–Will Have More Data to Sell… All those pharmacy benefit managers have to have more information to sell to companies like IMS who has about 85% of the world’s prescriptions on file and when they can add more “scoring” and I mean scoring you on medication adherence, the money they get for selling it, goes up. For years we have had Milleman and Optum RX selling your prescription data and it’s hooked right into the PBM centers release and sell the data immediately. Optum aka United is one of the biggest healthcare data sellers out there, along of course with IMS.
Financial Literacy: It is the Oligarchy vs. democracy or anything else . . .
Ethereum is artillery in the running battle between technology and governments. The Ethereum team seem like a leftish anarchic bunch, but the idea that the internet could secure a libertarian utopia by rendering man-made law redundant has always appealed to internet pioneers. Doesn’t Ethereum undermine the ability of democracies to manage their societies? Vinay sees it the other way around: ‘Democratic societies are stifling free expression. Democracies generally have constitutions to protect political rights that no law can ever cancel, and I see these technologies as a way to guarantee the rights we already have. We are maintaining the status quo of, say, reasonable expectation of privacy in letters, not creating some kind of new pirate utopia.’ Someone will set up a social networking site on Ethereum that doesn’t collect your data, perfect for privacy-conscious users. Then there’s all the online marketplaces. When you buy something on eBay or Airbnb, a cut goes to the company for facilitating the transaction. A handful of programmers are planning to build an online marketplace on Ethereum where buyers and sellers can connect without a third party and their commission. Vinay also has estate agents in his sights. With Ethereum, you could create an immutable record of your house deeds, and then simply transfer them over to a buyer using encryption verification.
FACTIt was Big Data that took a signal-to-noise ratio of 10^-13 at the detector(s) to a 5 sigma event - i.e., one chance in 3.5 million it was just noise and NOT a Higgs boson.
5/14/14 Who watches the watchers? Big Data goes unchecked Washington has largely given private-sector data collection a free pass. The result: a widening gap in oversight as private data mining races ahead. Companies are able to scoop up ever more information. D.C. doesn't exercise legislative, regulatory or executive power to curb the big business of corporate cybersnooping.
The feds' push for Big Data
- The FBI is building a huge facial recognition database — which will also include palm prints and iris scans — to augment its fingerprint collection
- The Treasury Department has launched a program to scan several government databases and, in the future, perhaps commercial databases as well for information about individuals due to receive federal payments.
- The Defense Department is considering mining commercial databases as well, to scan for worrisome information about employees and contractors who hold classified clearance.
Can Data be kept out of the reach of the U.S. government? Post Snowden: Microsoft is resisting a U.S. warrant to turn over computer files stored in Ireland wanted by feds for a drug probe here at home. If Microsoft loses, U.S. courts will be able, with a warrant, to demand data held by U.S. companies for corporate or other customers — no matter where it is stored, in the U.S. or abroad.
2014 "big data" is a term that came into the scientific mainstream at least a dozen years ago.
This started when astronomers and particle physicists (among others) realized that the instruments they were building would generate many orders of magnitude more data than ever collected before and that they had no practical ways to curate, analyze, and transmit that data to others. There are still many important R&D issues to be solved in this domain. As so often happens, commercial interests have taken over the concept and reduced it to meaningless slogans. Let's not forget that there are real technical problems to be dealt with, to say nothing of the social and policy issues.
~ Peter A. Freeman, Emeritus Dean & Professor, Georgia Tech Former Assistant Director, National Science Foundation www.cc.gatech.edu/people/peter-freeman
6/2014 PARENTS fight the Department of Education from selling children's intimate information to Big Data to protect Children's Privacy from the Department of Education.Data Broker
Congressional Testimony Data Brokers: What Information Do Data Brokers Have on Consumers?
Jan 15, 2014 Pam Dixon gave this testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee on December 18, 2013 at a hearing dedicated to shedding light on data broker industry practices and how that affects consumers. The full testimony contains numerous examples of data broker activities, consumer scoring, and discusses the solutions that are needed, including a requirement for data broker opt out.
5/31/14 How ‘data brokers’ are striking gold
The companies scour the Internet to put consumers into precise marketing categories. "Consumers didn’t volunteer to be a part of this system" and "don’t get value from this." Privacy advocates worry that, in addition to being collected without people’s knowledge, the information is being used to harm consumers. Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, said she is mostly concerned about “the grey area” between using data about consumers to target ads and using data about consumers in ways that are restricted by financial and health privacy laws. “When information about you influences your marketplace opportunities and your wallet,” consumers need protections, she said.
"If you're getting something for free, you're not the customer, you're the product."
The real customers, Google and Amazon themselves, use them to earn enough to provide me the services for free. And you make the choice to use them for free because you like using them for free. You are giving away our data in return for being able to use Facebook for free.
Your personal buying habits
The key is not the data, but the challenge of how to handle the data and what to do with the data itself.
A former CEO of American Express, who told an audience that if the company wanted to (and this applies to all credit card companies) it could use your personal buying habits and tendencies to put together a complete dossier and definitely tell if you are having an affair or not. Big data! From what I can tell, this is exactly what big data does best, spy on individuals.
Spying on you and selling you what the big data says you want - when you don't. Big Data ignores all the variables that can change the calculations and trends, which are endless. Big data would have you jump to conclusions. Big data cannot know everything, yet. It cannot know what you are thinking. Big data cannot know unless I'm interrogated and can tell if I might lie about what I think. Jumping to conclusions, making assumptions, acting on false assumptions. Hounding the public with useless advertisements.
BIG DATA The Parable of Google Flu: Traps in Big Data Analysis
Big data hubris” is the often implicit assumption that big data are a substitute for, rather than a supplement to, traditional data collection and analysis.
"1) people tweet crap; 2) crap is useless; 3) twitter is useless!"
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) raises the issue of emerging oligarchy, based on wealth inequality, taking control of democracies worldwide through a small global elite composed of the very rich, powerful corporate executives in financial multinationals and other global conglomerates, and their allies in international financial organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS).The chief architect of Booz Allen’s cyberstrategy is Mike McConnell, who once led the N.S.A. and pushed the United States into a new era of big data espionage. More than half its $5.8 billion in annual revenue coming from the military and the intelligence agencies.
How We Built Offshore Leaks Database
The Investigative Unit at La Nación Costa Rica received in November 2012 a device with millions of data in different formats. The relational databases came scattered over more than 320 tables and without an original dictionary to explain their relations. These databases were parts of two larger separated databases that had been fed for nearly 30 years by two companies: Singapore-based Portcullis TrustNet (PTN), and Commonwealth Trust Limited (CTL), based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Both firms specialize in setting up offshore financial structures. They have helped tens of thousands of people create offshore companies and trusts, as well as hard-to-trace bank accounts. Beyond data restoration, the application you can navigate today also creates a visual interface from which the users can explore, in a friendly environment, thousands of relations between persons, companies, and groups which until recently remained hidden.
Data Privacy Day is held on January 28th every year. It is an effort to empower people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint and escalate the protection of privacy and data as everyone’s priority.
In the 1960s, mainframe computers posed a significant technological challenge to common notions of privacy. That’s when the federal government started putting tax returns into those giant machines, and consumer credit bureaus began building databases containing the personal financial information of millions of Americans. Many people feared that the new computerized databanks would be put in the service of an intrusive corporate or government Big Brother.
What is Protected and Private?
"American laws and American policy view the content of communications as the most private and the most valuable, but that is backwards today,” said Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington group. “The information associated with communications today is often more significant than the communications itself, and the people who do the data mining know that." NYT
A Senate committee released a report this week that goes to great lengths to determine all of the things that data brokers, the companies that trade in consumer data, don’t want to talk about. The 35-page report describes some of the companies’ strategies for collecting and organizing data, but significant portions of the report discuss what the companies are unwilling to talk about: namely, where they get a lot of their data and where that data is going. Companies covered in the report include well-known firms, like Datalogix and Acxiom, as well as credit reporting companies that also trade in consumer data, like Experian and TransUnion. In the report, the committee sets out to answer four questions: what data is collected, how specific it is, how it’s collected, and how it’s used. While the first two questions turned out to be reasonably easy to answer, the companies all but stonewalled the committee on substantial answers to the latter two. The report harkens back repeatedly to the good old days of data collection, when many of the same companies queried used demographic information like zip codes to help marketers figure out where to send catalogs or area codes to figure out which towns to telemarket to. These days, our many interactions with the Internet—particularly financial ones—have resulted in an onslaught of data for these data brokers to not only collect, but to resell to interested parties. Datalogix claimed to the committee that it has data on “almost every US household,” while Acxiom’s databases cover 700 million people worldwide. Types of data collected include consumer purchase and transaction information, available methods of payment, types of cars consumers buy, health conditions, and social media usage. Equifax specified that it knew such specific details as whether people have bought a particular kind of shampoo or soft drink in the last six months, how many whiskey drinks a person has had in the last month, or how many miles they’ve traveled in the last four weeks. What the companies would not specify in full were their sources for consumer data. Three companies, Acxiom, Experian, and Epsilon, would not reveal the sources of their data, citing confidentiality clauses as the reason. The other data brokers said that their data comes from free government and public databases, along with purchase or license data from “retailers,” “financial institutions,” and “other data brokers,” which were otherwise described as “third-party partners.” The report mentions that companies acquire social media data specifically for inclusion in their databases. However, this information is difficult to connect to a profile without access to much of the metadata logged by the sites providing those services. Those sites even discourage trying to source that information outside their official avenues; as the report states, Facebook once asked data broker Rapleaf to dispose of data it had obtained by crawling the website. On the other hand, it’s well-known that companies like Facebook and Google re-sell “anonymized” data fed to their services by customers to third parties like these data brokers.
K-12 or K-16
2013 Secretary of idocy Arne Duncan weakened the regulations so that parents could not opt out of the data mining.
The Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corporation put up $100 million to start inBloom, and Rupert Murdoch’s Wireless Generation got the contract to develop the software, and amazon.com pans to put it on a “cloud.” inBloom’s plan to create a multi-state database to be stored on a vulnerable data cloud run by Amazon.com with an operating system built by Rupert Murdoch’s Amplify. The explicit goal of inBloom was to package this information in an easily digestible form and offer it up to data-mining vendors without parental consent. In February, inBloom formally launched as a separate corporation, and nine states were listed as “partners.” We worked hard to get the word out through blogging, personal outreach to parent activists and the mainstream media. After protests erupted in states throughout the country, inBloom’s “partners” pulled out. Now, eight out of these states have severed all ties with inBloom or put their data sharing plans on indefinite hold. Sadly, as of yesterday, New York education officials were still intent on sharing with inBloom a complete statewide set of personal data for all public school students– including names, addresses, phone numbers, test scores and grades, disabilities, health conditions, disciplinary records and more.
Politicians Make Money invading Children's Privacy.
Everfi Inc. CEO Tom Davidson
- [ High School - Phillips Academy-Andover ]
- State Representative Maine House of Representatives 1994-2000
- Venture Partner@ Privately Held Village Ventures seed and early stage venture capital firm focusing on the consumer media/retail and financial services sectors.
- Chief Executive Officer Everfi
Privately Held; 51-200 employees; E-Learning industry
January 2008 – Present
Tom Davidson raised $11 million in Series A financing from New Enterprise Associates, Michael Chasen, chief executive of Blackboard Inc., CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, Rethink Education, New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), and Tomorrow Ventures (the investment arm of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. BBVA Compass, Burger King, Capital One, Comcast, Genworth Financial, the John Calipari Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Neustar and PepsiCo more than 1,000 companies, foundations, and higher education institutions. Everfi provides simulated software to train high school kids on financial literacy and university students on educational loan management, web-based learning programs certifying more than 5.5 million students particularly in public schools, on personal finance and student loan management. It offers the service for free, its business model is based on getting corporations and foundations to fund the curriculum it provides to schools. Funders so far include Capital One, U.S. Bank, PayPal and United Negro College Fund.
We offer our products free to schools but sell our technology platforms to corporations, foundations, family foundations and others who then donate them as part of their broader mission to schools.
- EverFi@Work, the adult financial education program
- VaultTM - Understanding Money The 2.5-hour curriculum is designed for students in 4th through 6th grade and aligns with both state and national standards.
- My Digital Life Program 8th – 9th grade Teens
Tammy Mank Wincup Executive Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org
2715 M Street, NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20007 [p] 202 297 2649
KIDS: Legislation called COPPA exists to protect children. It require websites to allow users who opt out of tracking to access to their sites.
Medical Records: Certain kinds of sensitive data are protected. Federal law protects the confidentiality of your medical records and your conversations with your doctor.
Pills Tracked From Doctor to Patient to Aid Drug Marketing vast databases of patient and doctor information being used by pharmaceutical companies to market drugs. The information allows drug makers to know which drugs a doctor is prescribing and how that compares to a colleague across town. They know whether patients are filling their prescriptions — and refilling them on time. They know details of patients’ medical conditions and lab tests, and sometimes even their age, income and ethnic backgrounds.
OPM Revises Its Health Information Database 2011
The new notices shed more light on the privacy protections OPM intends to use, and the notices announce significant revisions to the way OPM will collect and share health information. The new notices come after CDT and other groups issued letters and comments to OPM, urging it to apply greater privacy protections, be more transparent and to consider other database models. OPM’s new notices take up some of these recommendations, but there are still unresolved issues with the identifiability of the health information and the database architecture.
It remains unclear why OPM must collect fully identifiable health information. OPM’s fraud detection goals could be achieved using a limited data set (under HIPAA, a limited data set has several direct identifiers stripped from health information – though not de-identified, limited data sets are more protective of privacy than fully identifiable data). Similarly, it is unclear why OPM couldn’t use a one-way hash function to scramble the identifiers in the health information (a hash function is essentially a cryptographic technique that can conceal messages but still allow for comparison of similar messages). Both limited data sets and a hash function should enable OPM to create statistically viable longitudinal records while preserving the relative anonymity of individual enrollees. If OPM needs the identity of a record subject (such as if the Inspector General discovers fraud), OPM could approach the health plans to obtain the identity of the enrollees whose health information is at issue.
Second, OPM is sticking with its centralized database model. In CDT’s letter to OPM, we urged the agency to explore a decentralized query-based system instead. A decentralized model would leave enrollee health information with the current record holders – namely the health plans – rather than compile new copies of the health information into a one big system.
Privacy and Civil Liberties:
NSA and the FBI have created a “PRISM” program, through which the agencies “are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies.” PRISM reportedly extracts audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs.
"Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.?
1. Metadata is more valuable and revealing than the content of the phone calls in all but the most specific cases.
2. For the innocent, who would have nothing much to fear from the phone call content being revealed, the metadata is the dole threat in the equation. With the metadata it is possible with one search to reveal 95% or more of all of the affairs going on - the work of a moment (well a moment if smarts and a lot of computrons....)
Consider how that goes over in Washington - hint, you want to dig up dirt what was his phone number 5years ago? What phones followed the "affair pattern" with his? Who was that person? Might be a terrorist that he happens to meet with at the downtown ramada inn or at her (or his) apartment : days a week at lunch..... Or might be something personal. Who knows? Illegal? Not really... Blackmail material? For a lot of people yes. Nobody in government would have an affair, right? So nothing to worry about.... And that data can show SO much more. What doctors do you visit and when? Drive into the wrong parts if town at the wrong times? What stores you stop in where you park, what is your general schedule if movements, alert an analyst when you break the pattern or simply cross paths with someone being watched? And these are just shallow and simple looks.....
Secret interpretations of the law
Secret interpretations of the law in a free and open society. "The law" is more than just the legislation itself, but the collection of caselaw and interpretations, combined with the legislation, that make up the overall "law." If some of those interpretations are kept secret, then how can the public obey the law? The answer is that they can't -- which is why secret interpretations shouldn't be allowed. The Justice Department, however, prefers to keep some things secret, and it's asking the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the EFF seeking to find out how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is interpreting parts of the FISA Amendments Act, after it was revealed (late on a Friday) that the court found at least one situation in which the feds collected info in violation of the 4th Amendment. < -- > http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130403/18094922565/doj-trying-to-hide-secret-interpretations-law.shtml
Big Data, privacy and data sharing
The Data Gap
between data haves and have-nots.
Why It Matters:
The economic importance of personal information has outstripped the legislation that governs it.
Intel Fuels a Rebellion Around Your Data
The world’s largest chip maker wants to see a new kind of economy bloom around personal data. They’ve got the data, and we don’t. It has paid for We the Data, featuring raised fists and stories comparing Facebook to Exxon Mobil.
2013 Enigma offers an easy way to search through more than 100,000 public databases.2013 Report Details Which Internet Companies You Can (and Can't) Trust With Your Personal Data
2013 How Automated License Plate Readers Threaten Our Privacy can scan up to 1,800 license plate per minute, day or night, allowing one squad car to record more than 14,000 plates during the course of a single shift. Data Stored forever, can become very revealing. Information about your location over time can show not only where you live and work, but your political and religious beliefs, your social and sexual habits, your visits to the doctor, and your associations with others. And, according to recent research reported in Nature, it’s possible to identify 95% of individuals with as few as four randomly selected geospatial datapoints (location + time), making location data the ultimate biometric identifier. States including Maine, New Jersey, and Virginia have limited the use of ALPRs, and New Hampshire has banned them outright.
4/2013 Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules
ZIP Codes Are Definitely Personal Identification Information
The Massachusetts Supreme Court interpreted “personal identification information” under Mass. Gen. Laws, ch. 93, § 105(a) Section 105(a) to include a consumer’s ZIP code and determined that collecting such personal information is a violation of state privacy law for which the consumer can sue (see slip opinion).
2013 The report, “Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage,” recommends a major shift in the focus of regulation toward restricting the use of data. Curbs on the use of personal data, combined with new technological options, can give individuals control of their own information, according to the report, while permitting important data assets to flow relatively freely.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, passed in 1970, was the main response to the mainframe privacy challenge. The law permitted the collection of personal financial information by the credit bureaus, but restricted its use mainly to three areas: credit, insurance and employment.
The forum report suggests a future in which all collected data would be tagged with software code that included an individual’s preferences for how his or her data is used. All uses of data would have to be registered, and there would be penalties for violators. For example, one violation might be a smartphone application that stored more data than is necessary for a registered service like a smartphone game or a restaurant finder.
Data brokers rushed in to fill the void. These operations pulled in information from any source they could get their hands on — voter registration, credit card transactions, product warranty information, donations to political campaigns and non-profits, court records — storing it in master databases and then analyzing it in all sorts of ways that could be useful to direct-mailing and telemarketing outfits. It wasn’t long before data brokers realized that this information could be used beyond telemarketing, and quickly evolved into a global for-profit intelligence business that serves every conceivable data and intelligence need.
Today, the industry churns somewhere around $200 billion in revenue annually. There are up to 4,000 data broker companies — some of the biggest are publicly traded — and together, they have detailed information on just about every adult in the western world.
BOSTON BRAHMIN SENATOR ROCKEFLLER
“In 2012, the data broker industry generated 150 billion in revenue that’s twice the size of the entire intelligence budget of the United States government—all generated by the effort to detail and sell information about our private lives.”
—SenatorJay Rockefeller IV
"Quite simply, in the digital age, data-driven marketing has become the fuel on which America’s free market engine runs."
(202) 224-8374 Mar 14 WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today released the following statement on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) announcement that it intends to support the process of transitioning the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). “The Internet was invented and developed in the U.S., and it has completely transformed the way people communicate and do business in every corner of the world. Since 1998, the U.S. has been committed to transitioning management of the Internet’s domain name system to an independent entity that reflects the broad diversity of the global Internet community. NTIA’s announcement today that it is beginning the process of transferring additional domain name functions to ICANN is the next phase in this transition. It is also consistent with other efforts the U.S. and our allies are making to promote a free and open Internet, and to preserve and advance the current multi-stakeholder model of global Internet governance.”
—Direct Marketing Association
Occupy Wall Street
and the 99%
Are School Districts giving over control of the personal, private thoughts, and testing scores of children to private, unregulated, web-based corporations?
Historically, the Supreme Court has supported that Parents are the primary guardians of a child’s privacy
Federal officials claim that the national database does not violate privacy laws, the Department of Education maintains that no parental consent is needed by schools to share student records with any “school official” with a “legitimate educational interest” ‒ which includes school-contracted private companies.
Local Education Officials Hold the legal right to control student information. Local education officials reportedly have the authority under federal law to share database files with private companies ‒ such as Gates’ Microsoft ‒ that sell educational products and services so that they can mine the info to create new tailored products.
Wasn't FERPA the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act enacted in 1974 to protect our children? Yes it was.
Congress has amended FERPA a total of nine times in the nearly 29 years since its enactment.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."
- Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
- Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
- Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
- School officials with legitimate educational interest
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS COLLECTED ABOUT YOUR CHILD WITHOUT YOUR PARENTAL CONSENT?
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD AND CLAIM THIS IS A MAJOR BREACH OF PARENTAL RIGHTS.
Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them.
Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Bill Gates' inBloom MASSIVE $100 million PUBLIC SCHOOL database Spearheaded by the $36.4 billion-strong Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation tracks students and contains millions of K-12 students’ personal identification ‒ ranging from name, address, Social Security number, attendance, test scores, homework completion, career goals, learning disabilities, and even hobbies and attitudes about school. He has been sharing student information with private companies. Bill Gates (the world’s second richest man with a net worth of $61 billion) and big government joining hands in the project, could children’s information be abused for ulterior motives?
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been connected with human rights organizations that promote the internationalist mindset. The Convention on the Rights of the Child committee has repeatedly browbeat nations to create a national database just like this that will allow the government to track children, purportedly to make sure their human rights are being protected ‒ different declared purpose, same kind of system, same invasion of privacy for government purposes.
It is a Joint venture with the Carnegie Corporation of New York and school officials from a number of states. After Rupert Murdoch’s Amplify Education (a division of News Corp) spent more than a year developing the system’s infrastructure, the Gates Foundation delivered it to inBloom ‒ a nonprofit corporation recently established to run the database. Corporations have access to grades, addresses, hobbies, attitudes.
The hypocrisy of many globalist billionaires (such as Gates, whose 11-, 14- and 17-year-old children enjoy the extra security of private schools and for their own protection, have had to wait until the age of 13 to get a cell phone). "This is just one more example of the elite internationalist double standard." ParentalRights.org President Michael P. Farris says parents have plenty to worry about when it comes to inBloom’s national database. Corporate leaders as using those of lesser means to benefit their own interests. They protect their own privacy at any cost, but you need to surrender yours for the good of their ideal society.
A database being managed and monitored solely by the government agencies and private corporations that use it.
DO NOT ALLOW school administrators to have full control over your children’s files, especially with states and school districts having full discretion over whether student records are entered into Gates database.
Michael P. Farris is President of ParentalRights.org and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. Since founding HSLDA in 1983, Farris has used his extensive experience in both politics and appellate litigation to defend parental rights and help grow the organization to over 80,000 member families. Serving as president of ParentalRights.org, Farris devotes much of his time to meeting with members of Congress and delivering speeches across the country in an effort to raise support for the passage of a parental rights amendment. He is also the founding president and current Chancellor of Patrick Henry College, a Christian institution with the mission of training students through a classical liberal arts curriculum and apprenticeship methodology to impact the world "for Christ and for Liberty."
"In this networked world, in which we are thoroughly digitized, with our identities, locations, actions, purchases, associations, movements, and histories stored as so many bits and bytes, we have to ask – who is collecting all of this data – what are they doing with it – with whom are they sharing it? Most of all, individuals are asking ‘How can I protect my information from being misused?’ These are reasonable questions to ask – we should all want to know the answers.”
Officials of the annual event proclaim endorsement of the very principles that Gates’ new public school database fuck's over.
“[inBloom] cannot guarantee the security of the information stored … or that the information will not be intercepted when it is being transmitted,” the company’s documentation states.
Privacy and Encryption companies gather and sell k12 student information. Check to see whether your school district has a policy about disclosing student information. The U.S. DOESN'T have a Privacy Commissioner and the U.S. Department of Education remains disturbingly placid about all the breaches in the education sector.
FERPA, COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS & DATA-SHARING by Sheila Kaplan 2013
As the 45 states that have adopted Common Core Standards begin implementation serious concerns are being raised about the impact on the privacy of students and their families.
The federal Family Educational Rights Privacy Act, or FERPA, was enacted in 1974 to protect the privacy of education records and directory information, which includes name, address, phone number, date of birth, and e-mail address, among other personally identifiable information. Schools are a rich source of personal information about children that can be legally and illegally accessed by third parties. With incidences of identity theft, database hacking, and sale of personal information rampant, there is an urgent need to protect students’ rights under FERPA and raise awareness of aspects of the law that may compromise the privacy of students and their families.
In 2008 and 2011, amendments to FERPA gave third parties, including private companies, increased access to student data. It is significant that in 2008, the amendments to FERPA expanded the definitions of “school officials” who have access to student data to include “contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other parties to whom an educational agency or institution has outsourced institutional services or functions it would otherwise use employees to perform.” This change has the effect of increasing the market for student data.
For example, the amendments give companies like Google and Parchment access to education records and other private student information. Students are paying the cost to use Google’s “free” servers by providing access to their sensitive data and communications. The 2011 amendments allow the release of student records for non-academic purposes and undermine parental consent provisions. The changes also promote the public use of student IDs that enable access to private educational records.
These amendments are critical to supporting initiatives like Common Core that depend on collection of student data to monitor implementation and measure success. Schools across the country will contract with third-party vendors to provide products, programs, and services in order to meet the Common Core requirements — and government agencies and researchers will be mining student information for studies and databases. The FERPA amendments are paving the way toward greater accessibility to student data while providing no meaningful sanctions or protections against breaches of student privacy. As amended, FERPA will loosen privacy protections while helping to promote the business of education.
How can we stop this invasion of student and family privacy in the name of education reform?
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, is one national group that is sounding the alarm on these changes to FERPA. EPIC filed suit against the U.S. Department of Education claiming that the Department lacks the statutory authority to amend FERPA to make student data more available and accessible to third parties — effectively changing the privacy law. EPIC vs. Department of Education is pending in federal district court in Washington, D.C. In bringing suit EPIC mentions the numerous education organizations as well as private citizens who submitted comments against the changes during the Department’s public comment period in 2011. They included the American Council on Education. ACE stated that: “We believe the proposed regulations unravel student privacy protections in significant ways that are inconsistent with congressional intent.”
The comment by ACE was echoed by other influential groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham University Law School, and the World Privacy Forum, which stated that “Student and parental records will be scattered to the winds to remote and untraceable parties, used improperly, maintained with insufficient security, and become fodder for marketers, hackers, and criminals. The confidentiality that FERPA promised to students and their families will be lost.” The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers also raised a number of concerns about the changes, charging that “The proposed regulations have been overwhelmingly influenced by the single-issue lobbying of a well-financed campaign to promote a data free-for-all in the name of educational reform.”
It is important to note the interests of those who submitted comments in favor of the FERPA amendments. For example, the Software & Information Industry Association, which represents more than 500 leading high-tech companies, argues in favor of easier access for vendors to student data. The College Board supported the amendments because they facilitate “the robust educational research and evaluation needed to improve opportunities and outcomes for all students along the P-16 continuum.” This means the College Board would have greater access to student data to, in their words, “validate our tests, assessments, and educational programs” — their primary business.
The Education Information Management Advisory Consortium of the Council of Chief State School Officers noted that the FERPA changes will “allow us to facilitate better research and evaluation using our statewide longitudinal data systems.” And the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education supported easier access to student data to develop a multi-state longitudinal data exchange that incorporates secondary and post-secondary education data and workforce data. This project is supported by the Gates Foundation. Note that protecting the privacy of student information is not the primary concern of those commenting in favor of the amendments.What lies ahead for student privacy when private companies, government agencies, and a wide range of researchers have greater access to student data and information? I mentioned earlier the “business of education.” This phrase was used by the Council of Chief State School Officers in their comment in support of FERPA changes. Business is booming and groups like CCSSO are benefiting. Technology startups aimed at K-12 schools attracted more than $425 million in venture capital last year. CCSSO initiated the creation of a $100 million database with funds from the Gates Foundation to track public school students‘ information and academic records from kindergarten through high school. This is called the Shared Learning Infrastructure and it is now being run by an organization called inBloom, specifically created to operate the system.
The SLI will collect and maintain a range of student data in two “buckets” – the first will include names, demographic information, discipline history, grade, test results, attendance, standards mastered–the list goes on. While schools may already have much of this data, this information is not usually stored in one place.
The second “bucket” will store information about instructional content and materials that will be linked to student test data in the SLI. Using Learning Resource Metadata Initiative meta-tags and the Learning Registry indexing (both aligned with the Common Core State Standards) this bucket will point to web-based resources.
So how will this work? First student data is shared with vendors. Then the vendors will align their products to Common Core. Internet searches on standards and instructional materials will point to Common Core-aligned resources developed by these vendors. Soon, when you search for education on the Internet, the bulk of the search will be Common Core related.
Clearly this narrows the education enterprise and raises issues of anti-trust and control of the Internet. And what will be the impact on the privacy of students‘ records? inBloom has stated that it “cannot guarantee the security of the information stored … or that the information will not be intercepted when it is being transmitted.”
The question is: Should we compromise and endanger student privacy to support a centralized and profit-driven education reform initiative?
Given this new landscape of an information and data free-for-all, and the proliferation of data-driven education reform initiatives like Common Core and huge databases of student information, we’ve arrived at a time when once a child enters a public school, their parents will never again know who knows what about their children and about their families. It is now up to individual states to find ways to grant students additional privacy protections. Privacy expert Daniel Solove said: “Privacy is rarely lost in one fell swoop. It is usually eroded over time, little bits dissolving almost imperceptibly until we finally begin to notice how much is gone.”
Civitas Learning Big Data For Higher Ed: With $4.1M From First Round, Floodgate. http://www.civitaslearning.com/
Civitas Learning gives faculty access to big data in realtime. It will generate revenue by charging subscription fees to its member institutions based on how many administrators, faculty members and students are receiving its personalized reports and recs. Of course, institutions aren’t exactly rolling in cash, so the startup sees an opportunity to give a little bit back as its community grows by offering rev sharing apps made available through its learning network. Civitas allows faculty to flag which students are at risk based on realtime engagement data, providing informed intervention suggestions, examples of outreach resources that have helped similar students, and provide a glimpse into what techniques or curricular resources are working best. In turn, the service enables students to better choose degree and course selection, find better course combos, and recommend better ways to spend their time and get better grades. Founded by Charles Thornburgh, a former executive at educational giant, Kaplan, who spent nine years as an in-house entrepreneur and launched a handful of edtech businesses for both K-12 and higher ed, is currently working with more than a dozen institutions to optimize their data sets.A service that combines student demographic, behavioral and academic info with next-gen analysis, recommendation and data modeling tech to let institutions build and make sense of their big data. The startup is working with community colleges, four-year universities, and proprietary schools to build what it claims is already the largest cross-institutional data set in the industry, with over one million student records and more than seven million course records on file.
To help the startup in its mission, Civitas has Data companies record — and then resell — all kinds of information you post online, including your screen names, website addresses, interests, hometown and professional history, and how many friends or followers you have.
Big Data everything they know about you
2013 Mr. Vladeck, former director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission.
Companies collect information about your social media profiles and what you do online.
Google Trust Rank determines low-quality, spammy site back links and will downgrade your website. Website owners are desperately sending out letters to other web sites asking them to delete their back links. [The Fast Unravelling Web: How Google Is Killing The Hyperlink.]
Facebook knows you're gay before you do: Big Data And You: How Your 'Likes' Reveal Sexuality, Race, Drug Use, And Your Parents' Divorce
The report, “Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage,” recommends a major shift in the focus of regulation toward restricting the use of data. Curbs on the use of personal data, combined with new technological options, can give individuals control of their own information, according to the report, while permitting important data assets to flow relatively freely.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, passed in 1970, was the main response to the mainframe privacy challenge. The law permitted the collection of personal financial information by the credit bureaus, but restricted its use mainly to three areas: credit, insurance and employment. The forum report suggests a future in which all collected data would be tagged with software code that included an individual’s preferences for how his or her data is used. All uses of data would have to be registered, and there would be penalties for violators. Privacy professionals say the approach in the recent forum report puts way too much faith in the tools and too little emphasis on strong rules, particularly in moving away from curbs on data collection.
WHAT DO THEY KNOW?
Big Data has to be manipulated <sliced and diced> in order to turn it into information!
OPT OUT FROM
- ID Analytics
- Recorded Future
To opt out from your publicly available information from being obtained by someone using our People Search service, fax or mail your name and address as it appears on our website or send us a copy of the page from our website that includes your information.
To opt out of this program, visit the Datalogix.com privacy page. Scroll down to the word “Choice” and the last sentence in the first paragraph says:
If you wish to opt out of all Datalogix-enabled advertising & analytic products, click here.
Click there and a little form will pop up that asks for your name, address, and email address. Datalogix promises that the opt-out will take effect within 30 days. Once you’ve been opted out, Datalogix will no longer include your information in the hashed data they provide to Facebook.(NB: There are a few different options under the “Choice” subheading. You want the one that says “opt out of all Datalogix-enabled advertising & analytic products” and then gives you a form to fill out.)
In addition to opting out via the Datalogix page, many people may want to consider how comfortable they are with loyalty card programs at all. Before you hand these programs your real name, phone number, and email address, consider whether you want every bag of Dorritos, over the counter medication, and box of tampons you buy associated with your identity in a marketing database for years to come.
Everything We Know About What Data Brokers Know About You
How much do these companies know about individual people?
They start with the basics, like names, addresses and contact information, and add on demographics, like age, race, occupation and "education level," according to consumer data firm Acxiom's overview of its various categorie.
But that's just the beginning: The companies collect lists of people experiencing "life-event triggers" like getting married, buying a home, sending a kid to college — or even getting divorced.
Credit reporting giant Experian has a separate marketing services division, which sells lists of "names of expectant parents and families with newborns" that are "updated weekly."
The companies also collect data about your hobbies and many of the purchases you make. Want to buy a list of people who read romance novels? Epsilon can sell you that, as well as a list of people who donate to international aid charities.
A subsidiary of credit reporting company Equifax even collects detailed salary and paystub information for roughly 38 percent of employed Americans, as NBC news reported. As part of handling employee verification requests, the company gets the information directly from employers
Is there a way to find out exactly what these data companies know about me?
- The stores where you shop sell it to them, ex: Datalogix, for instance, which collects information from store loyalty cards, says it has information on more than $1 trillion in consumer spending "across 1400+ leading brands." It doesn't say which ones. (Datalogix did not respond to our requests for comment.)
Where are they getting all this info? The stores where you shop sell it to them. Retailers also don't make it easy for you to find out whether they're selling your information.o California's "Shine the Light" law, researchers at U.C. Berkeley were able to get a small glimpse of how companies sell or share your data. Your state Department of Motor Vehicles, for instance, may sell personal information.
Consumers have no legal right to control or even monitor how information about them is bought and sold.
Federal law protects the confidentiality of your medical records and your conversations with your doctor, but they do capture and sell information about your health based on what you buy. Datalogix has lists of people classified as "allergy sufferers" and "dieters." Acxiom sells data on whether an individual has an "online search propensity" for a certain "ailment or prescription." Consumer data is also beginning to be used to evaluate whether you're making healthy choices. One health insurance company recently bought data on more than three million people's consumer purchases in order to flag health-related actions, like purchasing plus-sized clothing, the Wall Street Journal reported. (The company bought purchasing information for current plan members, not as part of screening people for potential coverage.)
What data brokers know about you They start with the basics, like names, addresses and contact information, and add on demographics, like age, race, occupation and "education level," according to consumer data firm Acxiom's overview of its various categories. But that's just the beginning: The companies collect lists of people experiencing "life-event triggers" like getting married, buying a home, sending a kid to college — or even getting divorced. Credit reporting giant Experian has a separate marketing services division, which sells lists of "names of expectant parents and families with newborns" that are " updated weekly." The companies also collect data about your hobbies and many of the purchases you make. Want to buy a list of people who read romance novels? Epsilon can sell you that, as well as a list of people who donate to international aid charities. Equifax even collects detailed salary and paystub information for roughly 38 percent of employed Americans.
2013 The Internet in general and "big data" is like a "planetary" or "global" nervous system.
FTC to Study Data Broker Industry’s Collection and Use of Consumer Data Commission Issues Nine Orders for Information to Analyze Industry’s Privacy Practices
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), together with six Federal agencies, rolled out the Big Data Initiative providing $200 million in funding to improve our ability to extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data.
Privacy Online: The implications of Big Data on privacy and the role for researchers and technologists. Is this moving towards a society that we want to build?
Surveillance: Big Data - We think law enforcement and intelligence are big data users and we think our technology is the leader
Trends 2012 BIG DATA When scientists publish their research, they also make the underlying data available so the results can be verified by other scientists. It is “big data,” the vast sets of information gathered by researchers at companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft from patterns of cellphone calls, text messages and Internet clicks by millions of users around the world.
Knowledge Management and Big data on your iPad A visualization and navigation engine called TopicWatch meant for discovering patterns in live data streams.
Big Data Blunders 2003
Experts who specialize in computer-driven analysis of large streams of information say too many companies throw themselves into big-data projects, only to fall into common traps and end up with nothing to show for their efforts. Some 44% of information-technology professionals surveyed by business-software firm Infochimps Inc., for example, said they had worked on big-data initiatives that got scrapped. Here are five mistakes companies commonly make with big data and tips from experts on how to avoid them. . .
9th Circuit Appeals Court: 4th Amendment Applies At The Border; Also: Password Protected Files Shouldn't Arouse Suspicion 2013
In a somewhat surprising 9th Circuit ruling (en banc, or in front of the entire set of judges), the court ruled that the 4th Amendment does apply at the border, that agents do need to recognize there's an expectation of privacy, and cannot do a search without reason. Furthermore, they noted that merely encrypting a file with a password is not enough to trigger suspicion. This is a huge ruling in favor of privacy rights. Looking stuff over, no problem. Performing a forensic analysis? That goes too far and triggers the 4th Amendment. You mostly store everything on your laptop. So, unlike a suitcase that you're bringing with you, it's the opposite. You might specifically choose what to exclude, but you don't really choose what to include.
The reason you bring the contents on your laptop over the border is because you're bringing your laptop over the border. If you wanted the content of your laptop to go over the border you'd just send it using the internet. There are no "border guards" on the internet itself, so content flows mostly freely across international boundaries. Thus if anyone wants to get certain content into a country via the internet, they're not doing it by entering that country through border control. We'd never seen a court even seem to acknowledge that content on devices is different than contents in a suitcase... until now. One interesting tidbit, is that they specifically note that "secure in their papers" part of the 4th Amendment, while noting that what's on your device is often like your personal "papers."
Another Court of Appeals upholds 4th Amendment rights in email. A significant opinion was decided by the 6th Circuit Warshak v. US, upholding 4th Amendment protections for emails. June 2007
Should the US Constitution’s Domestic Violence Clause Be Applied to Environmental Issues?
4th Amendment Rights and the Environment
The Domestic Violence Clause, in Article IV, Section 4, could apply to environmental issues. Section 4 says The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence. If you can Keep It by Michael Diamond
Private sector employees generally have little to no 4th Amendment protection in their emails. 4th Amendment only protects against government invasions of privacy, and doesn't protect against similar invasions by bosses, co-workers, or anyone else...
2012 Judge Protects Cellphone Data On 4th Amendment Grounds, Cites Government's Technological Ignorance
Spy On Americans' Finances 2013
The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document. Track down terrorist networks and crime syndicates by bringing together financial databanks, criminal records and military intelligence. Legal experts say is permissible under U.S. law, is nonetheless likely to trigger intense criticism from privacy advocates.
Stretch-Harvest was made of dozens of refrigerator-sized cabinets, wired together, with the entire system weighing as much as 75,000 pounds. Technically, the computer was indeed a “stretch” and its mission was to “harvest” intelligence from intercepted communications from spy listening posts around the world. The computer experts were not allowed to see the output of Stretch-Harvest. The printer was draped in black cloth, accessible only to members of the spy agency.
Rock, Paper, Sissors
So . . .
If you feel that can defend your 4th ammendment right in court to do [x] and the politically appointed judge rules against you then you can protest in the street. You can march! But then the cops will come and arrest everyone since they will "protect" the property of the city, business or whatever and you'll go to jail.
6/23/14 The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the government's tactics against the Connecticut accountant amounted to an "unreasonable seizure." The authorities seized the accountant's records while investigating alleged illegal activity of his clients. But they continued holding the data for years and later brought charges against the accountant, who was not the target of the original investigation. "The Fourth Amendment was intended to prevent the government from entering individuals' homes and indiscriminately seizing all their papers in the hopes of discovering evidence about previously unknown crimes," Chin wrote. "Yet this is exactly what the government claims it may do when it executes a warrant calling for the seizure of particular electronic data relevant to a different crime.”
If you go to court and have a jury trial then you can have your lawyer instruct the jury about their rights
Google tells European Court of Justice freedom of expression trumps privacy Feb 2013
European Commission is currently in the process of updating its data protection laws; in its current form, the revisal emphasises the individual's right to be forgotten and places an expiration date on the filing of personal data. In a blog post published on the day of the hearing, Google's Head of Free Expression for Europe, the Middle East and Africa William Echikson emphasised that it stands by the right to public access of information that is "valid, legal content" -- which a newspaper notice on a property auction is in Spain.
Protecting property rights trumps freedom of expression. March 2013
Pirate Bay Captains' Free-Speech Defense Fails In EU Court: The European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday upheld a Swedish federal court's months-long prison sentences and €5 million ($6.5 million) fine for the co-founders of file-sharing website The Pirate Bay, saying that while the copyright violation convictions infringed upon their freedom of expression, protecting property rights takes priority.
European Court Of Human Rights: No, Copyright Does Not Automatically Trump Freedom Of Expression techdirt.com
Do you want to express yourself or protest in the Street?
Google experiment lets you visualize the global arms trade in detail source
You buy a lot of ammo before the sequestration, enough say for several years worth of training, etc. When the sequestration happens and you have to cut your budget you won't have to choose between - say letting personnel go and not buying bullets. Bullets are durable goods and can be stockpiled. You stock up when you can get a deal and you essentially take that expense out of your budget for many quarters. You can then spend those freed up monies on other things - like peoples salaries.
US Govt betters Civilians, buys additional 21 million rounds of Ammo February 2013
The US Government seems to have find a good way to spend tax payers dollars. But it isn't new roads or hospitals... it's Guns and Ammo! The US Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase a further 21.6 million rounds of ammunition to add to the 1.6 billion bullets it has already obtained over the course of the last 10 months alone, figures which have stoked concerns that the federal agency is preparing for civil unrest. A solicitation posted yesterday on the Fed Bid website details how the bullets are required for the DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico. The solicitation asks for 10 million pistol cartridge .40 caliber 165 Grain, jacketed Hollow point bullets (100 quantities of 100,000 rounds) and 10 million 9mm 115 grain jacketed hollow point bullets (100 quantities of 100,000 rounds). The document also lists a requirement for 1.6 million pistol cartridge 9mm ball bullets (40 quantities of 40,000 rounds). An approximation of how many rounds of ammunition the DHS has now secured over the last 10 months stands at around 1.625 billion. In March 2012, ATK announced that they had agreed to provide the DHS with a maximum of 450 million bullets over four years, a story that prompted questions about why the feds were buying ammunition in such large quantities. To put that in perspective, during the height of active battle operations in Iraq, US soldiers used 5.5 million rounds of ammunition a month. Extrapolating the figures, the DHS has purchased enough bullets over the last 10 months to wage a full scale war for almost 30 years. <source>
1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It's Time For A National Conversation
The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As reported elsewhere, much of this purchase order is for rounds forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. 1.6 billion rounds, therefore, would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America.
Add to this perplexingly outré purchase of ammo, DHS now is showing off its acquisition of heavily armored personnel carriers, repatriated from the Iraqi and Afghani theaters of operation. As observed by “paramilblogger” Ken Jorgustin last September:
“[T]he Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking delivery (apparently through the Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico VA, via the manufacturer – Navistar Defense LLC) of an undetermined number of the recently retrofitted 2,717 ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ MaxxPro MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.” …
“These MRAP’s ARE BEING SEEN ON U.S. STREETS all across America by verified observers with photos, videos, and descriptions. “Regardless of the exact number of MRAP’s being delivered to DHS (and evidently some to POLICE via DHS, as has been observed), why would they need such over-the-top vehicles on U.S. streets to withstand IEDs, mine blasts, and 50 caliber hits to bullet-proof glass? In a war zone… yes, definitely. Let’s protect our men and women. On the streets of America… ?
“They all have gun ports… Gun Ports? In the theater of war, yes. On the streets of America…?
“Seriously, why would DHS need such a vehicle on our streets?” <source>
Fyi: Copyright had its origins in censorship and control.